Honda and General Motors have previously announced a collaboration to develop affordable EVs, but it has run into a formidable roadblock. Revealed to the world back in April 2022, this venture had the purpose of targeting markets stretching from North America and South America to China. The plan was to have it all ready by 2027. However, recent developments suggest otherwise.
In a joint statement, Honda and GM explained "Following rigorous research and scrutiny, we've mutually decided to cease the program. Both companies remain committed to promoting affordability in the EV market."
Honda's CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, added: "Due to certain business challenges, we've decided to halt the development of an affordable EV for the time being."
Here are two key takeaways from the decision:
- The joint venture has been called off due to undisclosed business challenges.
- The Honda-GM collaboration aimed at creating a new platform for affordable EVs.
The platform in question – now abandoned – was intended to incorporate GM's Ultium batteries.
What About The GM's Ultium Batteries?
Unveiled in 2020, Ultium marked GM's third-generation lithium-ion cell, conceived in a joint venture with LG Chem. Despite appearing ready for mass production, GM and LG Chem are wrestling with the reality of bringing this to fruition. The hurdles have been linked to an unidentified "automation equipment supplier."
Despite the setback, Honda and GM's partnership continues in other areas.
The Continuation Of Other Collaborations
The Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX – electric crossovers sharing a platform with the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Blazer – are still on the cards. They are even expected to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, features GM controversially decided to exclude from its 2024 models onwards.
More Joint Ventures
GM and Honda, along with BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis, have collaborated on a North American fast-charging network. Their goal is to install 30,000 fast chargers across the US and Canada by 2024.
Furthermore, Honda recently announced its intention to launch a robotaxi service in Japan by 2026, utilizing the Cruise Origin, a self-driving electric vehicle developed by GM-backed AV company. However, this announcement may be ill-timed, given Cruise's recent suspension of AV operations in California due to a shocking incident.
All those ventures and collaborations – not including the suspended partnership – are important movements towards innovation and a promise of a robust future in the realm of electric vehicles. After all, their steadfastness still offers hope that the vision of affordable EVs remains within reach.